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Duolingo suggests Japanese just one month away

Last week we all hypothesized what this tweet meant:

Apparently it wasn't news for us but for the outside world, in case it didn't notice Duolingo was preparing a Japanese course, according to this recent tweet:

The one thing that's new is that they expect it to be ready in one month! I don't really believe that's possible.

However, considering it already has a TTS system working, and that most of the "unfinished words" in their tree are in fact characters that don't need three sentences to be finished, and also the fact that there is a Duolingo developer in the course, this one month thing could be feasible.

April 20, 2017



We already knew 2 months that it would be somewhere around mid May, not really a surprise. On one of the AMA's contributors stated that May 15 is their ACTUAL goal not just an estimated date like every other course.


Totally agree. Usually when a language on Duolingo is expected to come out on a specific day it's usually released about 1-3 months later.


I guess this means that the 500 word total they'd referenced when the course was added to the incubator was actually a firm estimate? Guess that makes it the shortest tree on Duolingo on every measure. It's takes the current minimum lesson count and drops it by a quarter.

I recall mention of the number of feasible Japanese translations of English sentences being simply enormous (in the thousands). I wonder if this shortness is explicitly to try to keep things manageable. Japanese seems primed to shoot up the user league table, and I suppose Duo wants a polished user experience even at the cost of being much less comprehensive than other courses.


I suspect you're right, and also that they're going to come out with a tree 2.0 within a year.


In fact their word count is now 1216 and they seem to be adding more every week


Why wasn't it announced 2-3 months ago?

I'm not really holding my breath for it to be released by May 15th. No course has every released on time. I mean Swahili was released early, yet was missing the audio? Not really sure why. I just hope they don't release it too early and it missing audio or anything. I rather wait for it to be fully finished than half done. I also hope it's of good quality.


FWIW, Swahili was released early so it would be out when Luis von Ahn presented at the Design Indaba Conference.


The Japanese course already has audio, TTS with normal and slow speeds (contributor privileges).


There are now two Duolingo staff on it, so they definitely appear to want to pump it out for that date.


I thought I'd be waiting years for Japanese, considering how long Korean and Hindi have been in the Incubator. But I guess this public announcement makes it official, i'm so excited!!!!!


Japanese got into the Incubator 3-4 years ago and I remember searching for any type of news about why the course did not make any progress. I literally waited years for this course!!


Thus the messages previous week was announcement of the announcement of the announcement. Or maybe even the announcement of the announcement of the announcement of the announcement.

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